Studio: New Line
Film Length: 106 minutes
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1)
Audio: DD 5.1 Surround, DD Stereo Surround
Every year various thrillers are released with a few becoming hits while others float away never to be heard of again. Director Michael Apted’s 1994 thriller Blink received decent reviews when released but the audience didn’t really seek out the film, which is a shame because the movie certainly plays a lot better than most of the thrillers, which were making tons of cash. The film gained a little reputation on video but I certainly hope this DVD release will bring in new fans.
Emma Brody (Madeleine Stowe) lost her sight at the age of eight after her mother smashed her face into a mirror. For the next twenty years she’s been in the dark but has managed to do well with herself. One day she gets the call she’s been waiting for and that’s from her doctor telling her that they’ve found a donor, which could mean the regain of her sight. After the operation Emma gets her sight back but there are a few problems. For starters, her vision is still very blurry and out of focus. Another problem is that she is suffering from delayed vision, which means she could see something today yet it wouldn’t come into focus until the next day.
After regaining her sight Emma’s life starts to spin out of control because she isn’t used to seeing all the ugliness in the world. One night to get rid of her sorrow she gets drunk, passes out and later awakens to some struggling in the apartment above hers. She goes to the door and sees a man but she can’t make out who it is. The following day, with her delayed vision, she sees the face of this man but the police don’t buy her story. Detective Hallstrom (Aidan Quinn) for some reason believes her story and starts to investigate things. After a body is found in the apartment above it’s clear that Emma saw someone and that person will eventually come after her for being the only witness.
Blink is an incredibly well made thriller that works on so many levels, yet it never loses focus with all the side plots. The story is your typical thriller but the film goes a bit further and makes this a character drama and this is why it works so well. Not only do we get to track a serial killer but the film also details the hardships of a person who after twenty years gets her vision back. The way this is intertwined into the story works perfectly and helps build suspense and sympathy for Emma.
Another key aspect is the love affair between Emma and Detective Hallstrom. In most thrillers the love aspect is used for B.S. emotions but that’s not the case here. Instead of showing the love aspect as a Romeo and Juliet tale, the film instead shows how the relationship messes up the Detective’s work and might have caused the death to another person. There’s also no speeches of love but instead we see them fighting because both are coming into this relationship with different ideas. They are lovers but the Detective is also trying to catch a serial killer.
The performances are wonderful throughout, which just adds to the joy of the film. Stowe was always an underrated actress in my opinion and she certain shines here. She’s got a very rough attitude yet she’s also able to make us care and fear for her. There’s a brilliant scene where after gaining her sight she remains in the dark because she’s scared to look around. The way Stowe handles this just shows what type of an actress she is. Aidan Quinn is also brilliant as the tough as nails cop who is letting the case slip by because of his relationship with the only witness. The two fight, make love and various other things while trying to solve a case, which could kill both of them.
Blink isn’t your typical thriller that Hollywood throws at us. There’s no fake characters and no fake emotions. Instead everything in this film seems real and direct to the point. The dialogue is very refreshing and the humor the film finds is a real bonus. Even the cops are shown in a new light. Instead of being smart ass tough guys they are shown as regular men with regular jobs. There’s no Dirty Harry here but only men who do their jobs and then go back to their regular lives. Blink isn’t a masterpiece but it’s a film that tried something different with the genre and succeeded on every level.
VIDEO---The movie is shown widescreen (2.35:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 TVs. The picture quality is very good throughout with very strong colors and natural looking skin tones. A lot of the movie takes place at night and the darker scenes look wonderful without any speckles or dirt. There are a lot of visual effects to capture the “blindness” of the character and all of this looks very nice as well. There are a few shots that are somewhat flat but overall this is another exceptional transfer from New Line.
AUDIO---We get a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track, which is pretty close to brilliant. This isn’t an action film so don’t expect a shoot ‘em up track but what we’ve got captures the film perfectly. The dialogue is razor sharp and upfront with the surrounds perfectly used for the score. Emma’s a violinist and there are several concerts in the film, which really shines in the surrounds.
EXTRAS---You get a theatrical trailer.
OVERALL---This is a wonderful thriller, which has sadly been forgotten about. Hopefully with this DVD release the film will get a second chance and gather a cult following because it certainly deserves it. New Line delivers the goods once again for this catalogue release. The video is near flawless and the audio perfectly captures the film.
Release Date: October 7, 2003